Ex-Knesset Speaker Joins Communist Party

Former Labor MK Avraham Burg, scion of religious Zionism, kippah-wearing member of New Israel Fund board, now calls Meretz 'nationalistic'.

Gil Ronen ,

Avraham Burg
Avraham Burg
Flash 90

Avraham Burg, formerly the head of the Jewish Agency, who served as a Knesset member for Labor and as Knesset Speaker, has joined the communist party and now says he sees the Labor party and Meretz as “nationalistic.”

Speaking on Galei Yisrael radio, Burg attacked the Labor and Meretz parties for presenting themselves as “the Zionist camp” and agreeing to form a coalition that does not include Arab parties.

He complained that “the entire discourse in Israel is saturated not just in national feeling; it is also saturated with nationalism. The national-nationalistic discourse has taken over every good part of Jewish society, including, by the way, Labor, and there are even some hints of this in Meretz.

"When Labor calls itself 'the Zionist camp', it is saying 'I have no Arabs', and when Meretz remains silent when they speak of a government 'from Liberman to Meretz' and it does not protest the exclusion of Arabs, it is also enjoying this unkosher atmosphere – and this nationalism has also overtaken the Arab discourse,” he explained.

Burg said that Hadash is the only truly egalitarian party, and that he has voted for it in the last two elections and will do so again: “The basic principle that must guide a civil society, which is equality between all human beings – between Jew and Arab, woman and man, the oleh and the veteran Israeli, between everyone and everyone – this basic principle has been perverted."

'The End of Zionism'

Burg – the son of the late Yosef Burg, who was a member of Knesset for the religious Zionist Hamizrahi/Mafdal for almost 40 years, and held numerous ministerial portfolios – traveled by car to the communist Hadash party's convention during the Sabbath. Burg wears a kippah but has said he does not believe in God, and only wears the kippah as a matter of "cultural identification."

In 2003, Burg penned an article called “The End of Zionism” in the British Guardian, and another article in an Israeli paper in which he declared that "Israel, having ceased to care about the children of the Palestinians, should not be surprised when they come washed in hatred and blow themselves up in the centers of Israeli escapism."

Burg announced he was leaving political life in 2004 and resigned from the Knesset. In 2007, Burg published a book called "Defeating Hitler", in which he claimed that Israeli society is fascist and violent, due to an ongoing trauma caused by the Holocaust.

In an interview in Haaretz in June 2007, Burg suggested abolishing the Law of Return and stated that "to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It's dynamite." Burg acquired French citizenship in 2004, as part of his campaign in Israel calling "on everyone who can to obtain a foreign passport."

In April 2008, Burg signed a letter of support for the recently created J Street ultra-leftist lobby group.

In 2012, Burg endorsed a boycott of Israeli settlement products, and said that he personally boycotts all products produced in the "settlements" and does not cross the Green Line.

In 2012, Burg became a senior fellow of Molad – The Center for Renewal of Democracy, a "new think tank committed to leftist renewal." According to an article in Haaretz, "the center is funded by left-liberal foundations and groups from the U.S. associated with the Democratic party."



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